Baltimore Ravens vs. Cleveland Browns: 3 bold predictions
The Baltimore Ravens are set to take on their AFC North rivals, the Cleveland Browns, on Monday Night Football. Here are three predictions for this game.
Baltimore’s defense is carved up by Cleveland’s run game:
The Cleveland Browns might have the best run game in football thanks to the dynamic duo of Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. The duo has combined for 1,538 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns and has lost just one fumble on 304 carries. It’s remarkable what the duo has done and is a massive reason that the Browns are 9-3 and currently in the playoffs for the first time since 2002. These two will be a handful for the Baltimore Ravens to take on.
Baltimore enters this game with the 13th ranked run defense and while they’ve shown glimpses of improvement from a year ago, they’re still allowing a whopping 4.4 YPC. That is far from a recipe for success against any NFL team, let alone this Browns backfield.
Cleveland is going to want to run the football early and often and against a rusty and beaten-up Baltimore defense it’s likely they’ll find a good bit of success. The Ravens will need to be more disciplined against the run than they have been all year if they want to get perhaps their biggest win of the season.
Marquise Brown eclipses the century mark:
When Baltimore played Cleveland in week one of this year the Ravens looked the best they had all of 2020. The team threw the ball well, ran effectively, and clamped down on everything Cleveland tried to do offensively. That game was a long time ago, however, and we shouldn’t expect a similar performance from either team.
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The one thing the Ravens have going for them is that the Browns pass defense remains suspect. Cleveland ranks 26th in passing YPG this year and is playing without Denzel Ward. Lamar Jackson should be plenty happy about this and should be thinking about having another stud game through the air like he did in week one. To do this, Marquise Brown will need to play his best football.
Brown has actually played well the last couple of weeks, with a touchdown in each of his last two games. If we roll back to week one against Cleveland, “Hollywood” caught five passes and topped 101-yards including this dime. Brown looked like a true X-receiver during that game. There’s a chance he can have more success once again and continue to silence his doubters. I have a feeling he does just that and surpasses 100-yards receiving for just the second time this year.
Lamar Jackson dazzles under the lights with four touchdowns:
I believe “Hollywood” Brown will have a big day for the Ravens and he can thank his quarterback for his success because I believe Lamar Jackson is going to go bonkers.
Jackson is coming off a three-touchdown performance vs. the Dallas Cowboys and looked to be back to his old self after missing the previous week vs. the Pittsburgh Steelers. With guys like Brown heating up and the run game now powered by J.K. Dobbins firing on all cylinders, Jackson is going to continue playing at a high-level.
Cleveland is currently allowing 26.8 PPG and is far from a complete unit defensively. Baltimore is averaging 26.3 PPG and that’s including a week where Robert Griffin III and Trace McSorley quarterbacked against a dominant Steelers defense. The Ravens enter this game at nearly 100% offensively with the return of Mark Andrews to the lineup, meaning the Browns will be scrambling to stop this offense. Speaking of scrambling, look for “Action” Jackson to have a big game on the ground, as well.
This game is going to come down to the wire, but I believe Jackson will be the biggest difference-maker in this game. Look for Jackson to look put the team on his back to the tune of four total touchdowns and get the Baltimore Ravens a crucial win for their playoff hopes. He’ll do it with both his arm and his legs and light up this Cleveland Browns team for the W.
Final score prediction: 31 Ravens 28 Browns